Category Archives: Events

To The Moon

*play this full screen

In case you missed “To The Moon” last summer 2019 at the Museum of Natural History, you have a brief opportunity to catch it as part of the Under the Radar festival this month. Created by Laurie Anderson, Visiting Lecturer in the Princeton Atelier, and Hsin-Chien Huang, the virtual reality experience flies you through constellations built from molecular equations and alphabets forming DNA skeletons that merge science, literature, and graphic art. Commissioned by the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark; The National Culture and Arts Foundation, Taipei, Taiwan; and National Taiwan Normal University, it is 15 minutes of lunar phantasmagoria. Unlike our pre-cinema collection of optical devices, this might be considered post-cinema.

The theater cautions: This production is not recommended for people with serious medical conditions including heart ailments. Pregnant women, the elderly, or anyone who risks serious injury from falling and people with epilepsy, or who are prone to seizures, dizziness, vertigo, fainting or motion sickness are not encouraged to participate in this production. As sensitivities vary from person to person, if you have specific questions regarding content, please call us at 212.967.7555.

Together with Arto Lindsay, Anderson has been teaching ATL 499, Spatial Sound, in which students “explore wave field synthesis including the dynamics of short stories, parades, suspended grammar, psychic states, animal consciousness, and depth of field in sound and film. Special attention will be paid to experimental forms of sound installation, use of different spatial techniques in live concerts, and spatial theater.” Final projects were presented on Friday, January 10, at Princeton University.

Chaucer to appear in the 2020 Rose Bowl Parade, check your local listings

For the first time in 50 years, The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens will be represented with a float in the Rose Bowl Parade on January 1, 2020 (see the list of floats below). The design “Cultivating Curiosity” by Phoenix Decorating Company depicts iconic elements in The Huntington’s collections, celebrating its 100th anniversary as part of a yearlong Centennial Celebration running from Sept. 2019 through Sept. 2020.

The float’s various sections include the Pavilion of the Three Friends (bamboo, pine, and plum) from the Huntington’s Chinese Garden; the Rose Garden Tempietto sculpture, Love, the Captive of Youth; the Japanese Moon Bridge; Breakfast in Bed by Mary Cassatt (1897); Long Leg by Edward Hopper (1935); and the library’s Ellesmere Chaucer.

“The elaborately decorated Ellesmere manuscript of Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales was created sometime between 1400 and 1410. It contains what is believed to be a portrait of Chaucer as well as miniature paintings of 22 other fictional pilgrims who tell stories in order to enliven the journey from London to Canterbury. The medieval manuscript is on parchment.”


The first Tournament of Roses began in 1890 by the Valley Hunt Club members, led by Charles Frederick Holder, which prompted the club to add a parade before the competition, where entrants would decorate carriages with hundreds of colorful blooms. The Huntington is the only library represented.

The 2020 floats are sponsored by 2020 Royal Court; AIDS Healthcare Foundation; Amazon; Blue Diamond Almonds; Burbank Tournament of Roses Association; China Airlines; Chinese American Heritage; Chipotle Mexican Grill; City of Alhambra; City of Hope; City of Torrance/Torrance Rose Float Association; Dole Packaged Foods; Donate Life; Downey Rose Float Association; Farmers Insurance; General Society of Mayflower Descendants; Honda; Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens; Kaiser Permanente; Kiwanis International; La Canada Flintridge Tournament of Roses Association; Lions Float Inc.; Lutheran Hour Ministries; Meyers Clean Day; Northwestern Mutual; Oddfellows Rebekahs Rose Float; Rotary Rose Parade Float Committee, Inc.; Shriners Hospitals for Children; Sierra Madre Rose Float Association; Sikh American Float Foundation; South Pasadena Tournament of Roses; The Cowboy Channel; The SCAN Foundation; The UPS Store; Trader Joe’s; Underground Service Alert (Dig Alert); Wescom Credit Union; and Western Asset Management Co.

Artist’s rendering of The Huntington’s 2020 entry in the Rose Parade®, designed by Phoenix Decorating Company.

The Rose Parade will be broadcast live in the United States beginning at 8:00 AM PST, on January 1, 2020. Please check your local broadcast listings for more information.

Loew’s Jersey “Wonder” Theater


The Loew’s Jersey opened on September 28, 1929, as the fourth of the five Loew’s Wonder Theaters, just two weeks after the Loew’s Paradise in the Bronx and the Loew’s Kings in Brooklyn. All five would have opened earlier but in October 1927, the first talking picture, The Jazz Singer, was released and all the Wonder theaters under construction had to be refitted for sound.

Meant to be a movie palace with “opulence unbound,” in fact the gilding throughout the lobby was actually painted aluminum and the marble columns are scagliola, a technique for producing faux marble. So much for movie magic.

The exterior has a muted terra cotta façade and standard marquee but at one time, the tower’s Saint George and the dragon was animated so that, when the clock chimed every fifteen minutes, red bulbs in the dragon’s mouth would light up and Saint George would lunge at the dragon.

According to the New York Times, “Reports of the theater opening describe an eight-foot, 150-year-old French Buhl clock, Dresden porcelain vases from the Vanderbilt mansion, bronze statues from France, crimson curtains embroidered with gold griffins and a turquoise-tiled Carrera marble fountain filled with goldfish.” Creating even more of a spectacle, guests were serenaded by live piano music or a string quartet coming from the musicians’ salon, the gallery above the entrance.”

The interior of Loew’s Jersey has appeared in several films, including Last Days of Disco and just this year Apple TV’s Dickinson, season 2, used the theater as a 19th-century opera house.


Located across from the PATH station in Journal Square, the theater was closed in 1987 and the building was slated for demolition when local residents banded together to save the historic theater. They collected 10,000 petition signatures and attended countless City Council meetings, and finally, in 1993, the city agreed to buy the theater for $325,000 and allow the newly formed Friends of the Loew’s to operate there as a nonprofit arts and entertainment center and embark on a restoration effort.

This fireplace is in the men’s room off the balcony. The Lady’s room has a separate lounge area and a third room for checking your make up.


 Read about all five wonder theaters:


Save the date for 2020 Gillett Griffin Memorial speaker

Congratulations to Kevin Barry, whose latest novel Night Boat to Tangier was named one of the 10 best books of 2019 by the New York Times. Listen to Barry on their podcast:

Save the date:
On Thursday, 2 April 2020, Barry has kindly agreed to be the fourth Gillett Griffin Memorial speaker at Princeton University, co-sponsored by our wonderful Fund for Irish Studies. The free event will be held at 4:30 p.m. in the Lewis Center for the Arts’ James M. Stewart ’32 Theater located at 185 Nassau Street.

Publishers Weekly reviewed Night Boat to Tangier, noting:

A pair of Irish drug runners who’ve seen better days haunt a ferry terminal in southern Spain in search of a missing woman, in Barry’s grim and crackling latest (after Beatlebone). Maurice Hearne and Charlie Redmond had a long and profitable run in drug smuggling, but now, with both just past 50, they are out of the business after a decline in their fortunes. The two stalk the ferry terminal in search of Maurice’s daughter, Dilly, whom they haven’t seen for three years but believe will be showing up on a ferry there, either coming from or going to Tangier. As the men wait and scan the crowds, they reminisce on better days and an unfortunately textbook betrayal, and flashbacks to pivotal moments in Maurice’s adult life reveal a torturous history. Whether Dilly is actually Maurice’s daughter is an animating question of the narrative, along with what the men’s true intentions are. Barry is a writer of the first rate, and his prose is at turns lean and lyrical, but always precise. Though some scenes land as stiff and schematic, the characters’ banter is wildly and inventively coarse, and something to behold. As far as bleak Irish fiction goes, this is black tar heroin.

Writing for the Brooklyn Rail, Weston Cutter called Barry, “the only author I know of (currently working) whose work equally inspires and inundates any aspirant with dread. His latest novel, Night Boat to Tangier (2019) is undoubtedly his best novel yet, and, I’d argue, his strongest fiction, period—which is saying something, given that Kevin Barry’s one of the best short story writers alive.”–

We are longtime fans of the author. Barry visited Princeton in 2017 to read from his novel, Beatlebone and in 2013, he read from his short story collection, Dark Lies the Island, which has recently been translated to film, (hopefully) coming to US theaters soon.

Forms of the Book in the East


Martin Heijdra, Director of the East Asian Library at Princeton University, welcomed members of the IAS/Princeton workshop “Formats of the Book in East Asia and Environs” to Firestone Library and the Institute for Advanced Studies this week.

Below is the complete list of treasures Martin pulled for the group, beginning with two rare facsimiles of the Bamboo and wooden slips (Chinese: 简牍; pinyin: jiǎndú) used in China before paper. Also included were spectacular examples of book formats from South East Asia and regions beyond China.

The overall aims of the project are listed as:
The Book and the Silk Roads: Phase I” is a 2-year Mellon Foundation-funded project of the University of Toronto’s Old Books, New Science lab. The grant’s purpose is to challenge the triumphalist Western narrative of book history as a path of steps leading from the Christian codex to the Gutenberg press to the digital age. Instead, we seek to build and support a network consisting of scholars, curators, conservators, and scientists exploring significant developments in book technologies within a range of contexts, focusing particularly on occasions of cultural interchange or entanglement in the premodern world.

Amanda Goodman’s work on ephemeral documents from the Dunhuang cache has deeply inspired us, and we hope to build further points of connection with the community of Dunhuang researchers in the Princeton area. What stories can be told by exploring the varied formats and structures of the text-objects from the cache in Mogao’s Cave 17, or the recycled examination papers used as burial shoes in Turfan, now housed in Princeton’s East Asian Library collection? …

Although most of us are not part of this distinguished group, we can still appreciate the marvelous books and manuscripts being studied. Here are just a few images without commentary.

Note the corrections added to this manuscript by the author.

Cultures of the Book

A few fortunate scholars, historians, and collectors are meeting this week in Pescara, Italy, birthplace of the Italian poet Gabriele D’Annunzio, Prince of Montenevoso, Duke of Gallese (1863-1938). Today alone we enjoyed 18 presentations on such diverse topics as the 1491 Kalendrier des bergiers; the digitization of the Baskerville punches; publishing under Franco’s dictatorship; publishing within the cultural revolutions in the Arab-Muslim world; and falconry in Jincheng Yinglun China.

Historic map of the area.


We were introduced to a number of significant individuals we should have already been familiar, such as Donella Meadows and her Limits to Growth. [one of many videos online above]

Another is the Indian inventor Shankar Abaji Bhisey ( and his Bhisotype [left], along with dozens of other mostly unrealized inventions.

“In 1920, Bhise started the Bhise Ideal Type Casting Corporation in New York to develop and market the type-casting and lead rule-casting machines. He spent over 80,000 dollars on this venture. His efforts were not in vain. Mr W. Ackennan of the Linotype Company of America had this to say about Bhise. He said, ‘He (Bhise) has now solved a problem which had been the dream of type-machine inventors for many years.'” –Achievements in Anonymity, Unsung Indian Scientist, edited by Kollegala Sharnia and Bal Phondke.


Another whole day to come and another dozen presentations. Thanks in particular to the Centre for Printing History and Culture, University of Birmingham/Birmingham City University and the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures, University of Chieti-Pescara.




People heading to work drive through the Sepulveda pass on the 405 freeway as the hills burn from wind driven wildfire near the Getty Center Monday. Brentwood CA. Oct 28, 2019. Photo by Gene Blevins/Contributing Photographer.

The “Gettyfire” has effected over 10,000 structures (both residential and commercial) in the Mandatory Evacuation Zone. Eight homes have been destroyed and others damaged. The Getty Museum has been closed to the public today and will be closed tomorrow (Tuesday) while it being used by fire fighters as a lookout.

MANDATORY EVACUATION: The official Evacuation Map indicates Mandatory Evacuation Zones in RED. You can search for an address in the upper right corner of the map.

“The southbound 405 Freeway was completely shut down between the 101 Freeway and Sunset Boulevard. Drivers were advised to completely avoid the freeway if possible. The northbound lanes were open. Part of the reason that the incident commanders are shutting down the southbound freeway…is because of the potential of bringing in the large fixed-wing aircraft that also will drop that retardant. We don’t that to spread over to people’s vehicles as they’re driving, The Getty Center itself was not threatened at this time, Scott said. However, both the Getty Center and the Getty Villa would be closed Monday.”
Note, The LA Times has dropped its pay wall and is providing information on the fire to everyone free of charge.

The Printing Workshop as a Laboratory of Knowledge

Johannisberger stop-cylinder press from 1924, restored in the 1980s and still working at the Lettertypen in Berlin

In case you could not attend the last conference of the Association of European Printing Museums (AEPM) at the Nationaal Museum van de Speelkaart, Turnhout, Belgium, 23-26 May 2019, they recently posted the talk given by Katharina Walter and Ulrike Koloska (Berlin, Germany): Safeguarding Intangible Heritage: Passing on Printing Techniques to Future Generations.

Here is the link:

The aim of the AEPM is to encourage the sharing of knowledge, experience, initiatives, and resources in all fields of the graphic arts as they have been practised from the time of Gutenberg until the present day. Originally founded as an association of European printing museums, the AEPM has gradually enlarged its remit to include a broad range of organisations and individuals interested in printing heritage, both in Europe and beyond. Membership is open to all print-related museums, heritage workshops and collectors actively involved in preserving the heritage of the printing industry.

Don’t forget to use their “Museum finder for printing and related museums in Europe and worldwide”.

Typographic (J. Theobaldy), 70 x 100 cm, Simultan – Kunststücke, 1975

Cultures of the Book: Science, Technology, and the Spread of Knowledge

The website and program is now available for the upcoming conference “Cultures of the Book: Science, Technology and the Spread of Knowledge,” Wednesday-Thursday, November 6-7, 2019 at University of Chieti-Pescara (Map).

This conference is subsidized and so, registration is free (opening soon). Here is the preliminary program for the two days:

The focus is broad but there is a nice attempt to include Eastern European and Arabic material along with the usual. “This conference will be of interest to historians of the book, printing and print culture, scientists and technologists who are interested in the book, bibliographers, librarians, conservationists, bibliophiles and book collectors and practitioners including printers, binders and type designers. It is not looking at books from aesthetic or literary perspectives but how science and technology have been deployed in book production and how the book itself has been a vehicle for the promotion of science and technology. We are covering all periods, regions and cultures and interpreting the ‘book’ widely to include clay tablets, codices, printed texts and electronic media. Both the physicality and culture of the book are explored. The conference is not only looking at the word, but images as well, including woodcuts, engravings, photographs and digital images.”

Subjects include: Science, technology and the making of the book, before and after the printing revolution, for example, writing instruments, substrates, ink, punches, presses, type, bindings; The relationship of technology to the appearance of letter forms and images; Science, technology and book conservation; and more.

This event is being organized by the joint Centre for Printing History and Culture at Birmingham City University and University of Birmingham, United Kingdom and the Department of Language, Literature and Modern Culture, University of Chieti-Pescara, Italy. [Pictures added by me]



NY Art Book Fair 2019

2019 Art Book Fair

Ariane Mayer, Poèmes à brûler [Poems to Burn] (Paris: Lairie un regard modern, no date).

The cigarette package is handmade with images from 1950s magazines. The individual cigarettes are rolled poems.

Till the Last Gasp, A Graphzine History 1975-2005. Three hundred zines, books, and posters from a largely undocumented movement of independent artists’ books and fanzine publications called Graphzines, which emerged in France beginning in 1975.

Sable Elyse Smith and Cal Siegel, In that Empire (New York: Pacific City, 2019)

… In that Empire is a conversation, an experimental cartography bound by each initial decision. Jorge Luis Borges’ story “On Exactitude in Science” frames the encounter: each “L” and “R” within the text creates a list of sixty-one positions. Using these directionals, the artists took sixty-one photos in West Newbury, Massachusetts and Harlem, New York, respectively. The reader is invited to access the book through multiple entry points, from front to back, in any order. No matter the beginning, a turn of the page becomes an act of continuing the conversation of experimental cartography established in the making of this book.